IN five years personal trainer Ross Corry has put on a whopping five stone in weight.
And in the world of health and fitness some may think that’s a disaster, especially for a model.
But for this Dundonald man every pound of weight has been a step closer to success.
Ross, 26, went from skinny footballer to ripped body builder, entrepreneur, model and fitness competitor in just a few years.
And the muscle-clad personal trainer said he’s never been happier despite thinking body-building was “disgusting”.
He explained: “Before I started body building the only word I could use to describe myself is just skinny. I was cardio fit but I was tiny.
“I’m not massive now by any means, but I’m five stone heavier, but I’d say that I now have quite a symmetrical, proportioned athletic shape.
“When I was younger I had body hang-ups like many other people, for me I thought my legs were skinny and my chest was non existent.
“If someone had have told me back then that I would be doing this I wouldn’t have believed it.
“I used hate the thought of bodybuilding, I thought it was disgusting. I thought it was stupid wanting to look as big as some of the guys and preferred team sports.
“In some ways I do look at myself differently now. Of course I can recognise the difference physically each year through pictures and things but I believe from the day you lift a weight in your own head you will be externally skinny.”
For Ross becoming a body builder wasn’t his main aim when he started lifting weights. He was simply trying to recuperate after a getting a sports injury.
“I played football a lot and always weighed around nine stone but I broke my leg playing and ended up off my feet for a while” said Ross, adding: “Within a few weeks I had dropped to under nine stone and I wanted to try and rehabilitate myself to give myself the best chance to get back playing football as quickly as possible.
“I have always been into fitness and wanted a career in something I have an interest and passion for. Once I had started lifting, I got the bug.”
Now five years later Ross’ body shape, size and weight has changed drastically as well as his career path and confidence.
Recently he was signed by Belfast glamour model Laura Lacole to Frontier Models.
Frontier Models, owned by Laura, is a new UK and Ireland modelling agency catering for fitness, fashion, lingerie and glamour models.
As well as that he runs his own successful personal training business and competes in fitness and body-building competitions throughout the UK and Ireland.
Earlier this month Ross competed in the UK Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation Northern Ireland qualifier at the Ulster Hall in the under 90kg intermediate bodybuilding section.
And after all his hard work he scooped the top prize.
He said: “I remember the first competition I did, I was really nervous, had no idea what to expect, I remember my heart beating through my chest and shaking as I walked on stage, but the longer I was on I got used to it and shortly settled down.
“I’ve always found it easy to deal with the strict diet coming from a football and athletic background, dieting comes easy to me as well as I have a fast metabolism so I can eat a lot of food and burn it off.
“At the minute I’m working out four to five days a week usually doing at least one large muscle group a day.
“The hardest thing about preparing for the competitions is your social life taking a big hit. You can’t just decide when you are peeping for a competition to randomly go out for a KFC with a friend.
“You always have to have food prepared to go everywhere and anywhere. But I’m used to it, it is what it is.”
Despite the downside for Ross the positives far outweigh the negatives.
He said: “I think about myself differently now. We all have our insecurities and element of doubt within ourselves, people seem to think you look good, compared to the average person in their eyes and that you must be eternally happy, of course everyone would change things about themselves.
“But I actually care more about my health and career a lot more. Especially my career as I mentioned the buzz I get from helping others achieve their goals is something most people can’t achieve through their daily routine.
“I would definitely say that I am much happier now in my life. I’m far more settled in my career and also more confident within myself and definitely have a lot more drive in me to improve myself in all aspects of life.
To find out more about Ross log onto www.frontier-models.com.